COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Tamils welcome the acquittal of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Supremo J.Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case, and are looking forward to her taking charge as Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister again.
“Lankan Tamils need a strong leader to be at the helm in Tamil Nadu. While Jayalalithaa was away from office, there was no one with authority in Tamil Nadu with whom we could talk about our problems. With a strong leader back on the saddle in Chennai, even the knotty fishermen’s issue can be solved,” said R.Yogarajan, an Indian Origin Tamil leader and MP from the United National Party (UNP).
C.V.K.Sivagnanam, leader of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) and Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, said that while he will not comment on the soundness of the verdict, the Tamils of Lanka stand to gain with Jayalalithaa’s return to power.
“ We welcome the acquittal because she has always been supporting our cause strongly. We expect her to continue to do so,” Sivagnanam said.
Selvam Adaikalanathan, leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and an MP of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), said that he welcomes the acquittal because Jayalalithaa can now assume power, untainted by charges of corruption. “ She has acquired legitimacy,” he asserted.
Adikakalanathan recalled that Jayalalithaa had done a lot for the Lankan Tamils during her last stint in office. She got the Tamil Nadu Assembly to pass a resolution urging economic sanctions against Lanka.
Nirosh Thiagarajah, social activist and a former member of the Western Provincial Council, said that the Tamils of Lanka’s North and East have always depended on the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, irrespective of the person occupying the office.
“As a human rights worker, my concern is different. I feel that any trace of political influence in the High Court’s verdict should be probed,” he said.